Friday, 1 November 2019

New insight into Kreuz AP passage

After I posted a previous blog about the passage in Apologia Poetica in which Bessler discusses the use of crossbars in his machine I sought some further insight into the text.  In the translation which  I published in my biography of Bessler, he seems to be saying that when he first built his machine he used one crossbar but the wheel barely moved.  He then tells us that when he added more crossbars, plus weights, pulleys and cord, the wheel spun more quickly.  However I have studied the original German text and there are some interesting aspects to it which I think help explain what Bessler wanted us to understand from it.

The first thing I always thought odd was the addition of more weights pulleys and cords in the second part of the passage.  It seemed to me that  they should have been included with the first reference to crossbars.  Then he could have said that more of each were needed.  My initial conclusion was that Bessler was informing us of the presence of crosses i.e, part of a scissor mechanism, which I still think he was, but also of weights, pulleys and cords.  However subsequently I considered that there were two or three pieces of information being presented within one piece of text, using a trick he has used elsewhere.

My translator thought that ‘crossbar’ was the word Bessler intended, and there has been much discussion about whether he actually meant ‘cross’ and not ‘crossbar’. The word ‘cross’ could suggest a design using the shape of a cross, in other words four equal divisions within the wheel. However I discovered a word which one might gloss over but which gives us a clue to his thinking.

So a closer study of the words he used reveals more information than one might get at first.  This is my latest interpretation.  The first words below are from my original version of Apologia Poetica, Part 2, XXXIII

"If I arrange to have just one cross-bar in the machine, it revolves very slowly, just as if it can hardly turn itself at all, but, on the contrary, when I arrange several crossbars, pulley and weights, the machine can revolve much faster, and throw Wagner's calculations clean out of the window!"

Now my new interpretation using equally acceptable alternative words:

"So in an  earlier work, I used just (or only) a (or one) cross, so to speak (or as it were),
"So you will see it, is very slow and hard to turn around by itself; On the other hand, (or whereas) if I added more crosses, pulleys and weights, then the device can run much faster;"

The word used in the German text is
 Gleichsam = so to speak, or as it were.  
 In the English dictionary, .
(definition of 'so to speak' = so to speak to draw attention to the fact that you are describing or referring to something in a way that may be amusing or unusual rather than completely accurate)

With his first use of the word "Kreuze", he is saying that it is like a cross.  In the second part he is saying, add these other parts, as well as more crossbars....... but he doesn't mean crosses.  This is why the first use of the word Kreuze, is separate from the second use.

I believe his intention in the first use of the word "kreuze" was to confirm the need for five mechanisms and not four.  So the first part is saying if you use four mechanisms the wheel will hardly turn, but if you use more by adding additional crossbars to the four you already have, then the wheel will turn fast.

So there are potentially three pieces of information; firstly, is that there needs to be more than four  mechanisms; secondly, there is a portion at least of the scissor mechanism involved, and thirdly, he tells us that we need to add more crossbars, weights, pulleys and cord.



  1. "So the first part is saying if you use four mechanisms the wheel will hardly turn,..."

    This is a weird logic John. If four mechanism is enough for a perpetual mot. then it must be THE mechanism. Is it slow, fine...Just duplicate it , place the new ones at different angles and connect them together and here you have a faster version...

    1. "I believe his intention in the first use of the word kreuze was to confirm the need for five mechanisms and not four."

      This is another weird logic, since if you add several more crossbars to one, how does 4 mechanisms only go to 5?

    2. I can’t say more at present yellow, but what I’ve written is correct.


    3. we'll se John, we'll see :)

  2. The word "kreuze" is best translated as "pulley axle" rather than "cross-bar" and refers to one of the metal pulley axles, a small metal rod, in a metal frame that contained several metal or wooden pulleys; in other words a "compound" pulley system whose pulley axles were held together in parallel inside of the same frame. If a rope attached to a wheel's axle only passed over a single pulley mounted on its axle inside of the frame which would have been suspended from a ceiling beam over the wheel's axle, then the wheel, when released, could from a standstill directly lift a certain maximum load at a very slow speed. However, when the rope went around several pulleys on their axles in the frame, then a heavier maximum load could be raised at the same very slow speed , but, as that happened, more rope would have to be wound around the wheel's axle per second and the axle and its attached drum would turn more rapidly to collect that rope being drawn in from the compound pulley system. The important point here, I think, is that the word "kreuze" does NOT refer to any thing inside of a wheel's drum. The line is translated as "If I arrange to have just one cross-bar in the machine...". I think it should have been more accurately translated as "If I arrange to use just one pulley axle with my machine...". The mistranslation of a single word or phrase can lead one far astray as he tries to understand how Bessler's wheels worked.

  3. Here is the offending text from AP ...

    In ein Werk gleichsam nur ein Creuz,
    So wird man es ganz langsam sehen
    Kaum von sich selber herum drehen;

    Hingegen, wenn ich zugericht’t
    Viel Creuze, Züge und Gewicht’,
    So kan das Werk viel schneller lauffen;

    Google Translate says ...

    In a work as it were only a Creuz,
    So you will see it very slowly
    Hardly turn around by itself;

    On the other hand, if I'm served (I arrange)
    Lots of crosses, trains and weights,
    So the factory (machine) can run much faster;

    JC's AP Translator says ...

    If I arrange to have just one cross-bar in the machine,
    it revolves very slowly,
    just as if it can hardly turn itself at all,

    but, on the contrary, when I arrange
    several bars, pulleys and weights,
    the machine can revolve much faster,

    The whole of XXXIII is in reply to Wagner's wheel power calculations. Bessler says he is going to talk about the power of his machines. That is the context for the reply.

    Is he talking about the power of his machines in terms of Work done by them, such as lifting external loads with pulley systems etc ?

    Or is he talking about the raw power of his machines and so he gives a description of their internals and how to multiply them ?

    1. He talking about how the speed of his wheels would vary depending upon the mechanical advantage of an external compound pulley system used by them to lift a heavy load. The greater the mechanical advantage, which requires the external pulley system to pass the rope around more pulleys and their axles before it is finally attached to the load, the less the torque the wheel's axle needed to apply to the rope leading up to the pulley system to lift the load and the faster the axle could rotate.

    2. Bessler added the second part of AP to respond publicly to Wagner, but it is also clear that he took the opportunity to add more coded clues in it. There several places in which he makes ambiguous comments designed to inform. The above passage is one of. them.

      It seems a lot of trouble to go to print responses to Wagner, as part of a major work, and in my opinion there is more veiled information to be found in both halves of AP.


    3. This what Wagner said in his critique and to which Bessler answers.

      XXXIII. On page 21, line 4 seq., the defender indicates the proportion by which the force would be multiplied if the diameter of the wheel were increased. He obtains this proportion from the three different wheels which Orffyreus has made, namely, the first wheel, in Gera, which measured two and a half Leipzig ells in diameter and raised several pounds; the second, in Draschwitz which measured 5 Leipzig ells in diameter and drew 40 pounds; at the last, in Merseburg, which measured 6 Leipzig ells and drove 70 to 80 pounds into the air. From these it is concluded that if the diameter of the wheel is increased by approximately one ell, the force of the wheel increases by 40 pounds, and thus the difference increases by 40 in an arithmetic proportion. If the diameter of the current Merseburg wheel were made twice its size namely 12 ells, then the wheel could not raise more than 320 pounds according to this rule. Nevertheless, in the Leipzig newspaper of 3 November 1714 it is expressly stated that if the diameter of the wheel were thus increased, the force would square itself, according to which rule the said 12-ell wheel would raise 6400 pounds, a frightful blunder of about 6080 pounds which should rightly humiliate Orffyreus, who lets himself be called a famous and experienced mathematician and mechanic.

      Here Wagner talks about the force required to lift various pounds or weight for each wheel type. Not the speed the load is lifted or the speed the wheel rotates at.

      So on balance is either Wagner or Bessler talking about gearing down a wheel with pulley systems to proportionately change Mechanical Advantage x Speed Ratio ?

      It doesn't sound like it to me in the original Wagner XXXIII above, but then I don't speak German and may miss the nuances. And if not why would Bessler deflect the answer to a gearing by pulley sets issue ?

    4. "So on balance is either Wagner or Bessler talking about gearing down a wheel with pulley systems to proportionately change Mechanical Advantage x Speed Ratio ?"

      Yes, that is exactly what they are really talking about. It's important to realize that there were two different types of lifts Bessler's wheels did. The first was the lifting of a load by a wheel that was just starting up and the second was a lift done by a wheel which was already at its maximum speed and then suddenly had the rope to the load attached to the axle. The first type of lift was usually done using a compound pulley system in order to provide a greater and more impressive value for the mass of the load being lifted where the speed of the lift was not important and would be very slow. The second type of lift used only a single pulley (usually placed outside of a nearby window) and could hoist a heavy load rapidly through tens of feet until it and the wheel came to a stop before the load hit the pulley. Ultimately, the maximum load a wheel could lift depended upon several factors such as the mass of the weights inside of the wheel's drum (which Bessler increased as his wheel diameters got bigger), the diameter of the wheel, the mechanical advantage of any compound pulley system used, the maximum free running speed of a wheel used for the second type of lift, and the total mass of the wheel. These individual factors tend to be either ignored or so mixed together and confused in Bessler's writings that they almost become useless for anyone trying to learn exactly how Bessler's wheels worked. Whether he did that on purpose or not, I don't know. And, of course, the translated versions we have of his writings, if not incorrect, would only add to the confusion.

    5. While I agree with your description of the types of lift and their requirements I’m pretty sure we are all aware of those details and I disagree that these factors are ignored. I will show how important Bessler’s writings are in due course, especially if they lead to a successful reconstruction.


  4. I’m often puzzled at the comments posted in response to one of my blogs, and today is one of those times. Perhaps I should have made things clearer. Part two of AP is, like the first part, littered with ambiguous comments designed to contain useful information for the dedicated searcher. I doubt if Bessler would have gone to the trouble of writing responses to Wagner and having each page printed and bound with the first part if he didn’t intend to leave more disguised clues embedded in the text. So the whole point of this blog is to point out another disguised clue, I was not intending to get embroiled in discussions about pulleys etc


  5. The trouble is some people see black and white, others shades of grey. If Wagner was clear in what he meant by wheel power verses diameter (not pulley systems working off the axle to lift a load)then it would be foolish of Bessler to not answer in kind in his response, because it would read as a deliberate diversion or half truth. I think that is what he does which strengthens your argument John and many of us would agree that his words must give other information about the wheel, still related to power output but not to diameter relationship as Wagner framed it. Bessler already said that earlier.

  6. Once you understand the principle, the amount of power is only governed by the density and size of Weights used, and the length of the leverage points in designing the way in which you choose either circular or oscillating. The strength and rigidity or flexibility of materials used can influence your choice of design, another words, the principal can be configured in many different applications so long as there is enough room to accommodate the reaction. Depending on your design, you should be able to achieve a sufficient amount of power with a relatively low cost in the fabrication of a particular machine. My statements are true and I do not debate them with anyone. It was given to me just as it was given to Bessler, that is why it is also not debatable. There is a reason why this is the the way it is. Johann Bessler did not work alone! This technology was known way before Johann Bessler was born. I leave you with this, of all of his writings and all of his Clues, straight line reasoning in the end will lead you to the answer. Share your gifts while you can with people you believe to be worthy of them. Do not despair, have faith, and the opportunity will arise! Make straight what is crooked, open your mind to what is simple and true, forgive the past and start a new. Then life can hold meaning 42.

    P.S. Strengthen the foundation of your understanding and don’t forget your towel!

  7. It is Ezekiel's wheel.

  8. Nice insights from Stephen, I like where you are going with this thread.... how are you coming with your build ?

  9. Gravittea if you're ever near Chicago tell me I'll show you and then you'll be the second one to understand how it was done but be prepared to learn a lot about something very simple like where the concept first originated so you could share it with everyone you know

  10. Stephen..... Thanks for the offer, I will be in Illinois later next year will keep you updated


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